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Energy adaptive buildings

From sensor data to being aware of users
PhD ceremony:T.A. (Tuan Anh) Nguyen, PhD
When:November 27, 2015
Supervisor:prof. dr. ir. M. (Marco) Aiello
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering
Energy adaptive buildings

Saving energy is the foundation for achieving a sustainable energy supply. Saving energy contributes to environmental objectives, improves the competitiveness of a country’s businesses, and boosts employment. There are numerous opportunities for achieving significant energy savings in buildings since individuals and businesses have an interest themselves in saving energy and will shoulder the responsibility for doing so.

Occupant behaviour has shown to have large impact on space heating and cooling demand, energy consumption of lighting and appliances. Current building automation systems are unable to cope with changes caused by occupants’ behaviour and interaction with the environment, therefore they fail to reduce unnecessary energy consumption while preserving user comfort.

My PhD research is driven by the aim of realising such energy adaptive buildings that facilitate intelligent control, that learn and adapt to the building users and their activities, while reducing energy waste. My particular focus is on a framework, going from the hardware infrastructure for sensing and actuating, to processing and analysing sensor data, providing necessary information about the environment and occupants’ activities for the system to produce adaptive control strategies, regulating the environment accordingly.

Our solution can save 35% of energy for a single building. As a success story, the software system saves 80 percent on energy spent for lighting in the restaurant of the Bernoulliborg. We are commercialising the results of our research by creating the SustainableBuildings start-up, a spin-off from our university, to offer the solutions to non-residential buildings, first in the Netherlands, and later extending wider.

>> View video Unifocus: RUG spin-off company reduces energy consumption by up to 35%